The craze continues, should you join the bandwaggon? Get the basics here!

Is it gluten-free? Has anyone else besides me noticed the gluten- free craze that is spreading everywhere? Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian? Even my small town grocer made shelf space for an entire section of gluten- free products. You’ve got to hand it to the marketers on this one. Apparently we all suffer from a sudden intolerance to gluten.  It never ceases to amaze me how people get easily hooked by the next health fad and go full steam ahead without thinking.

I have a sister-in-law that has been diagnosed with Celiac disease. She will get instantly ill if she eats anything containing gluten. For those of you that don’t know, gluten is a protein in wheat, rye and barley. For people with Celiac it causes severe digestive distress. I give her credit for adjusting her life and being militant about what she puts in her mouth. By all means if you have been diagnosed do what you can to help yourself.  The fact that there are specific products to make one’s life easier is awesome. Just remember that gluten- free does not necessarily mean fat or sugar free. Use your head on this one. Try to eat fresh and unprocessed foods as much as possible while respecting your intolerance to gluten. What about the rest of us?

According to the Mayo Clinic ( “The gluten-free diet is a treatment for celiac disease.” That’s it. It is NOT a cure all for everything else that ails us. In fact it is strongly recommended that if a person suspects they have the disease they should see their doctor before putting themselves on a gluten free diet.  Doing otherwise could complicate their diagnosis. Since many of the grains we normally eat are enriched with vitamins, cutting these out can lead to nutritional deficiencies in a person’s system. We’re talking serious deficiencies such as iron, fiber, B vitamins, calcium, and vitamin D. People that rely on highly refined gluten free products have actually been known to gain weight. While these products don’t contain gluten, they often have more fat and sugar to get the taste and texture right for our taste buds. A cookie doesn’t miraculously turn into something healthy because it’s gluten-free.

To be sure we could all benefit from eating a little healthier. So do a little research. Talk to your doctor.  Don’t just cut out gluten because everyone else is doing it!  Also, remember that those who purposely wear clothing made out of raw meat may not necessarily be the best authority on health matters--just saying.